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What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is the term used to describe language impairment after stroke. Aphasia can affect all areas of language (speaking, reading, writing and the ability to understand spoken language). Aphasia varies in severity. For example, some individuals may present with mild word-finding difficulties while others may have considerable difficulty speaking and understanding spoken language. 

Impairment-based Therapy vs Functional Therapy

The above terms may seem odd to the average person but they are frequently used by speech therapists who work with individuals with aphasia. A person who has aphasia has impaired language skills. Every person will be affected in a different way and to a different extent. Progress may vary but can often continue many years post-stroke. 


When we target specific areas of impairment e.g. the ability to name specific words, we call that impairment-based therapy. It can take time for improvements in everyday communication to be occur. 

Functional communication therapy essentially means working on the ability to participate in specific language situations such as being able to say the names of family members, ordering a coffee, replying to a text message, etc. Improvements are more easily noted with functional therapy. 

What We Offer Individuals with Aphasia following Stroke

  • Assessment of language abilities (speaking, writing, reading, comprehension)

  • Education on Stroke & Aphasia

  • Advice for family members on how to support communication with the person with aphasia / conversation partner training 

  • Individualised goal-setting 

  • Individualised therapy plans including homework between sessions 

  • Impairment-based therapy e.g. language activities to improve specific impairments in word-finding, writing, reading and comprehension 

  • Functional therapy e.g. learning to write text messages and emails, making appointments

  • Longer-term home programmes 

  • Training on the use of speech therapy apps for aphasia

  • Group Therapy (subject to client suitability and numbers)

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